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Duncan four assists shy of triple-double

2/1/2003

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Tim Duncan was too much for the Orlando
Magic's beleaguered corps of big men.

Duncan had 23 points, 17 rebounds and six assists, and his
put-back off his own miss with 4 seconds left gave the San Antonio
Spurs a 109-108 victory over Orlando on Friday night.

The Magic had a chance to win, but Tracy McGrady's 17-footer
fell short at the buzzer. McGrady scored 12 of his 35 points in the
fourth quarter, topping the 30-point mark for the seventh straight
game.

"Both teams competed real hard; we just happened to make the
last shot, I guess," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "Lots of
games come down to that. We were just fortunate enough to make
it."

McGrady's jumper with 13.5 seconds to play put the Magic ahead
by one, but Orlando couldn't keep Duncan off the boards as he hit
his second game-winning shot in a week. Last Friday in Utah, Duncan
backed down Karl Malone before hitting a turnaround jumper as the
horn sounded.

"On my move, I got hit in the eye and didn't think I was going
to get it off," said Duncan, who had nine of the Spurs' 16
offensive rebounds. "I just kind of threw it up there. I just
followed it."

"In that situation, we have to make him earn it at the free
throw line," said Orlando center Andrew DeClercq, who blamed
himself for not fouling Duncan.

David Robinson scored a season-high 20 points, including two
go-ahead free throws with 26.9 seconds to play, as the Spurs had
six players score in double figures. Tony Parker also scored 20,
and his 3-pointer with 53 seconds to go gave the Spurs a 105-104
lead. Parker finished with a career-high 13 assists and Emanuel
Ginobili added a season-high 14 points.

After DeClercq sank a short jump hook over Robinson at the
39.6-second mark, Robinson responded with a strong drive to the
basket and Darrell Armstrong grabbed him to prevent the easy
basket. San Antonio sank 19 of 22 free throws for the game,
although Robinson's pair were the team's only fourth-quarter foul
shots.

In two games since sitting out a few days with a tight back,
Robinson has averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds.

"A couple of days ago, before (Robinson) got on the plane, he
told me he was playing whether I liked it or not," Popovich said.
"We would've had a tough time without him."

The Spurs trailed 104-100 with 1:32 remaining, but Robinson
dunked off Duncan's lob and Parker sank a 3 from the top of the key
after McGrady missed a long shot he took with time on the shot
clock. Against Bruce Bowen's defense, McGrady shot 15-for-36.

"It seemed like Tracy had about 49 points or so, but he had to
work his butt off for it and he had to shoot a lot of shots,"
Popovich said. "Bruce made him work all night long. He does that
night in and night out, and he's been doing that all year long."

The Magic were hurt at times by McGrady's absences, as coach Doc
Rivers has made it a priority recently to rest his superstar.
McGrady played 35 minutes after averaging more than 43 minutes in
five contests entering the week; he played 38 in a win over
Cleveland on Wednesday.

San Antonio took a 14-point lead midway through the second
quarter behind a 20-3 run, and it appeared the Spurs were going to
run away. Orlando's defense was on the floor in theory only, giving
up wide-open dunks and 3-pointers. When Malik Rose's uncontested
jam put San Antonio up 44-34, Rivers called a timeout, a look of
utter disbelief on his face.

After surrendering two more point-blank baskets, the Magic
finally went to work up as McGrady's thunderous baseline reverse
jam brought the crowd to life. Mike Miller followed with a
three-point play and technical foul shot, after Spurs coach Gregg
Popovich argued with officials, cutting San Antonio's lead to 50-44
with 3:19 left before the break.

McGrady closed the half with six more points, and Orlando
trailed 54-52 at intermission.

"The way we played those guys, it gives us confidence going in
to the next few games," said McGrady, who also had seven rebounds
and six assists. "Actually, I don't feel as bad as I thought I
would. We played our (butts) off."

Game notes
The Spurs were without shooting guard Steve Smith, who
missed the game to attend to personal business. He didn't play in
four of the last five games because of a coach's decision. ... This
is McGrady's second seven-game stretch of the season of games with
at least 30 points ... Orlando's previous record of consecutive
30-point games was five, set by Shaquille O'Neal in 1993-94.

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